Residents are urged to take care as the final week of Scams Awareness Month focuses on doorstep crime.
Angela Lomax from Bury Council’s trading standards team said: “Most people who call at your door are genuine, but some are not. They could be thieves or conmen trying to trick their way into your home to steal. That's why it is important to take precautions when people call at your home.
“Bogus callers will pretend to be an authentic caller, such as officials from the council, gas, electricity or water companies. They may say they are workmen needing to make repairs or even claim to be police officers.
“Don't assume that a caller is genuine because they wear a uniform or clothing with a logo – always ask to see their ID card, and never let them into your house unless you are sure they are genuine.”
Residents are advised to put the chain (if they have one) on the door and keep it on while they talk to the caller and check their identity.
When dealing with doorstep traders, trading standards officers say:
- Always get two or three written quotes before you agree to any work being carried out
- Never agree to anything verbally on your doorstep
- Use local knowledge and ask friends and family for recommendations
- If an offer appears too good to be true, it probably is
- Contact a tradesman on the Bury Registered Tradesman Scheme: these traders have agreed to work to particular terms and conditions and have been subjected to checks by Trading Standards. For a copy of the list, call 0161 253 5353 or visit the council’s website (www.bury.gov.uk)
Consumers currently have a seven-day “cooling off” period where contracts are formed in the home (with some exceptions). This gives consumers the right to cancel a contract for goods or services made during a visit by a trader, whether the visit is unsolicited or solicited. New legislation which comes into on 13 June will (among other things) extend this period to 14 days.
Get advice and report it to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or online advice at www.adviceguide.org.uk
Press release issued: 28 May 2014.